Album Review: The Other Side | Patrick Alan Casey
As we are trying to pick up our pieces after the heatwave that hit Greece (and Europe in general) during the past weekend, we only have the air-condition and new, remarkable releases to thank for keeping us safe and entertained in our homes. Today I’ll spend some time on the case of Patrick Alan Casey, an artist who’s clearly a 90’s kid, bashful and romantic on the inside despite his accomplishments and long journey in music. Without further ado, let’s get deeper into his latest body of work titled ‘The Other Side’ and get a taste of the artist’s vision.
‘Fall Away’ opens the album with an old school electro-pop vibe given by the synths and percussion while the vocal performance adds a subtle eastern flavour, a gentle touch of mysticality. It’s already obvious that Casey’s voice has this clear diction, adaptive character and theatrical quality mostly found in musicals, even though his output feels closer to the commercial pop genre. As ‘Fall Away’ fades into the opening chords of ‘Gone’, followed by club-style keys, claps and autotune we are dealing with a vintage dance-pop piece that begs to be remixed and blasted in clubs. We are standing in the mainstream, radio-friendly zone and Casey makes it feel like home somehow.
Now, the homonymous ‘The Other Side’ is an empowering anthem about overcoming hardship, being proud of the battle scars we got in order to reach the light, our best potential: ‘Tried to make us disappear but we are stronger with our tears’. The galloping kicks and grandiose chorus have this euphoric, confident temper we see in many 90’s Eurovision tracks paying tribute to the power of love: ‘Love is not a sin and hate won’t ever win’. This is Casey at his most fierce and it’s clear why this is the track chosen to make the LP’s title. A completely different side of the artist is reflected in ‘Echo’, stripped, smooth and human, the most emotional up to this point. His voice becomes the main instrument and his hue feels warm like a tight hug from a loved one.
‘Echo’ sends the mind to past moments of joy, comfort and carefreeness. I’m thinking of summer vacations, laughing at the beach with my childhood friends under the sun. In addition, the track is another successful paradigm of Casey’s potential in musical theatre or film. ‘Here’ is one of the most expected tracks considering all the qualities of the artist we’ve witnessed so far. Green and romantic, ‘Here’ gives off a strong ‘American teen love film’ sense and coming off age themes. And then comes a 180 degree turn with ‘Never Could Have Been’ where dark keys and eastern beats combine with the artist’s esoteric, sorrowful performance, making this one -hands down- the deepest, most sensational entry of the album so far (personal preference). Also reminded me of my beloved ‘1977’ by Years&Years from their debut ‘Communion’. That’s the exact sound the Sanctum begs for, which I’m glad to see expanding in the following ‘Shadows’ little before the end of this experience.
The dramatic keys, epic percussion and Casey’s nerve in ‘Shadows’ offer a fiery climax to this journey, existing somewhere between Linkin Park and Adam Lambert. This goes among the most memorable moments of The Other Side. Casey’s closure comes with a super-sentimental entry, a brother to ‘Echo’. ‘100 Years’ is the track that will effortlessly make you shed a tear when listened at your most vulnerable, hitting straight to the fear of passing time and the need to love and be loved. An utterly touching, almost chilling epilogue showcasing the artist’s ability to write, produce, perform full-heartedly and transmit his feelings to the listener unfiltered.
Casey is not resting on his laurels, meaning the commercial sound he can definitely pull off and could effortlessly stretch in all 8 tracks. On the contrary, he is playing with a variety of sounds and dispositions, exhibiting his ability to explore both the light and darkness of a wide, multi-dimensional space. The Other Side is a strictly pop record that covers both the mainstream audience and the alt-pop lovers, the nostalgic 90’s kids who are now in their thirties and last but not least, I’ll bravely say ALL Eurovision fans. Am I exaggerating? Maybe. Anyhow, Gossip once said: ‘Pop-Pop-Pop goes the world’ and Patrick Alan Casey couldn't agree more!
Until next time!
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